Oct 7, 2021 - COVID

Philly extends vax mandate for higher ed and health care workers

Illustration of a pattern of syringes, with a spotlight on one of them.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Philadelphia delayed its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers and those at colleges and universities on Wednesday.

What's happening: Hospital and long-term care facility workers, and all higher ed staff and students, must get their first jab by Oct. 15 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, according to Philly's new guidance.

  • All other health care workers must get their first vaccine dose by Oct. 22 and get their second dose by Nov. 22. They will also need to be tested twice weekly until they're fully vaccinated.

Flashback: The city originally mandated that these groups be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

What they're saying: Cheryl Bettigole, Philly's acting health commissioner, said some health care and higher ed officials were calling for more time.

  • "We've heard, in general, that a little bit more time might be helpful,." she said, adding that another delay to the vaccination mandate wasn't expected.

Of note: The mandate won't apply to workers, students or staff with a religious or medical exemption.

  • They instead must submit to regular COVID-19 testing.

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